I was born in Mississippi; my parents and most of my family now live in Alabama; so, I'd say, I have a rather intimate knowledge of voters in the south, specifically those in Alabama and Mississippi. I've watched (online) some of Newt's campaign appearances over the last couple of days and am starting to see a rising chorus of support, as he inspires his audiences and speaks to their distrust of Washington, DC, and the ruling elite that have continuously attempted to direct the actions of conservative voters.
The recent jump in the polls for Newt in both Mississippi and Alabama have the pundits surprised because they had written off Newt's candidacy as dead after Super Tuesday; but, voters in the south don't much care what pundits think about Newt, they know what they like, and they like what they hear: A fighter, who tells them the truth and understands their frustrations.
The GOP party bosses, and even many conservatives, keep suggesting Newt should bow out and pave the way for Rick Santorum to assume the mantle of the conservative alternative to Romney, but Newt knows...like any good southerner would.. Rick doesn't come from the south, lives in a heavily unionized state, and has a few blemishes on his conservative credentials. Newt knows that Rick doesn't have the tenacity that southern conservatives are looking for, that Rick will never be able to rally the conservative base sufficiently to overcome the massive attacks in store for him during the general election. Only Newt knows how to cut through the fog of liberal propaganda to direct the narrative in this election. Obama has already begun to address the issues Newt has raised in his campaign; why else would Obama have come out to attack Newt's energy policies? .. and defend his own bad policy of refusing to drill for oil? Southerners love a man who will call out his opponent and then proceed to smack him down. This explains why Newt is rising in the polls in Mississippi and Alabama; the more they see and hear Newt, the more they like him.
The GOP elite have attempted to back conservatives in a corner. They say "vote for Romney, or we will have another four years of Obama", but, I say, Romney is not conservative and does not inspire conservative voters. Even if Mitt were to wrap up the nomination soon, there is no guarantee that the conservative base of the GOP would get out to campaign for him, they may not even come out to vote for him. Here is just a little piece of advice from a southern girl to those GOP establishment types who think they can coerce a southerner into voting for a moderate: "We will do exactly what we please, and, of course, we prefer doing those things that displease you."
Newt speaks the language of the south. He doesn't have to pretend to understand us by talking of things he knows nothing about; he has actually lived and worked among us. He isn't the scripted politician who chooses all the politically correct terminology, but he holds firmly to his conservative principles, defends his positions (brilliantly), and he isn't ashamed to be conservative. Southerners are sick and tired of conservative politicians avoiding the conversation with liberals so as not to offend. It's time to offend those who would strip away our religious liberties, refuse to address this meteoric rise in fuel prices, and continue with this non-stop international apology tour. There is nothing wrong with being conservative; in fact, the lack of conservative governance is precisely what is wrong with America.